Archive | April, 2008

11 April 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Rally Rally Rally Rally Rally!

The most frequent type of clicking on the web are forward navigation clicks (i.e. links) and… the back button!

While navigating Rally, I was experiencing a slight amount of navigational trauma and wanted to push the proverbial “eject button” and get back to somewhere familiar.  Here’s what I saw:

Don’t forget about page titles, even when you aren’t interested in having the pages searchable!

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06 April 2008 ~ 2 Comments

The Tax Man Cometh

At my accountant’s office yesterday morning –

“Stock sales… looks like you sold SPDR and INTC this year?”

“Yep, I- WHAT?!  SPDR?”

“Your 1099 from TD Ameritrade.  You sold a few stocks?”

I unwittingly sold a very large chunk of an index fund that I’ve owned for several years.  The buying and selling flows at TD are virtually identical save for the words “Buy” and “Sell” being interchangeable.

TD could have easily caught this mistake with some simple logic.  “You’ve only been buying SPDR in big chunks once a year for 5 years now.  Type the words “SELL SPDR” into this field to verify your (strangely seeming to us) intention.”  And in the future, no more typing as the pattern is now established.

I’m sure there are generalizable patterns among traders.  Why doesn’t TD use some of that knowledge in its interface?

Reinforcing yet again that confirmation screens and pop-up warnings are no substitute for an interface that too easily lets  you do the wrong thing.

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02 April 2008 ~ 0 Comments

The Problem With Colour

My 401k fund allocation was recently modified due to changes in available funds.  I logged on to TransAmerica to verify, who by the way has an absolutely killer site compared to GWLA, my previous benefits company.

While I’ve become less a fan of pie charts than I have been in the past (c/o Information Dashboard Design), I get quick verification that I am indeed in four funds.

Because the colours are identical between charts, I’m left wondering why I only have three slices on the left.  I spent a bit of time hoping to decipher which of the funds on the right were large/mid, small or international equity.  After a few moments I gave up, although I can’t seem to shake the fact that there is some hidden meaning there.

Without contrasting colours between charts, I still can’t help but think there’s a connection I’m not seeing.

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